Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures in over fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her writing. She is the author of Ascension of Larks, Becoming the Talbot Sisters, and her most recent novel, The Enlightenment of Bees. Currently Rachel lives with her family in Seattle, WA where she enjoys creating stories about hope, courage and connection with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy. Rachel was recently in the January issue of Welcome Home and generously answered a few questions today on my blog!
1. Why did you become a writer?
Oh I’ve been telling stories since I learned to string words together into sentences! My parents have an old cassette tape recording of a little 2 year old Rachel telling a convoluted story in a very high lisp to prove it! I’ve always loved the drama, the emotions, the plot arc, and (hopefully) happy endings of stories. They are so cathartic! I think stories broaden our view of the world around us and deepen our empathy and understanding of other people. I write stories about strong women facing big challenges, about hope, courage and connection because these are the stories I want to read, the stories that speak to me. I write stories because I want to spread light in a way that (hopefully) touches hearts.
2. What inspired your current book?
I struggled for years to find my sweet spot in life, the place where my gifts and passions could truly make a positive difference in the world. I ended up having the privilege of working with an international faith-based relief and development organization in Europe for 7 years, traveling around the globe, helping women in trauma and later assisting refugees. I loved those amazing experiences and wanted to share some of them with readers!
Now I take many of my own experiences and used them as inspiration for my books. This story is about a young idealistic Seattle baker who has her entire life planned out, but when it all crumbles she goes on an around the world humanitarian trip to find her new sweet spot in life. It’s a story I think a lot of us can relate to, this deep desire to truly make a difference in the world by doing what we love. It has many autobiographical elements from my own life. And of course there’s also food, travel, and a touch of romance and whimsy – all of my favorite things!
3. What is next for you?
I’m busy writing my 4th novel, about a sweet but disillusioned woman who has given up all of her own aspirations to care for those she loves. One day she gets the amazing opportunity to redo the 3 biggest regrets of her life! It’s a story I think many of us can relate to, the tension between duty and desire, the pull of “what if”s in our histories. It’s all about how we can choose to shape our future in the best way possible. And of course it has food and travel and a second chance at love with the man she can’t seem to forget!